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Pay-per-view (PPV) is a type of pay television service by which a viewer can purchase events to view via private telecast. The broadcaster shows the event at the same time to everyone ordering it.

Events can be purchased through a multichannel television platform using their electronic program guide, an automated telephone system, or through a live customer service representative. There has been an increasing number of pay-per-views distributed via streaming video online, either alongside or in lieu of carriage through television providers. In 2012, the popular video sharing service YouTube began to allow partners to host live PPV events on the platform.[1]

Events distributed through PPV typically include combat sports events (including boxing and mixed martial arts, and sports entertainment such as professional wrestling), and concerts. In the past, PPV was often used to distribute telecasts of feature films, as well as adult content such as pornographic films, but the growth of digital cable and streaming media caused these use cases to be subsumed by video on demand systems (which allow viewers to purchase and view pre-recorded content at any time) instead, leaving PPV to focus primarily on live event programs.


The earliest form of pay-per-view was closed-circuit television, also known as theatre television, where professional boxing telecasts were broadcast live to a select number of venues, mostly theaters, where viewers paid for tickets to watch the fight live.[2][3] The first fight with a closed-circuit telecast was Joe Louis vs. Jersey Joe Walcott in 1948.[4] Closed-circuit telecasts peaked in popularity with Muhammad Ali in the 1960s and 1970s,[2][3] with "The Rumble in the Jungle" fight drawing 50 million buys worldwide in 1974,[5] and the "Thrilla in Manila" drawing 100 million buys worldwide in 1975.[6] Closed-circuit television was gradually replaced by pay-per-view home television in the 1980s and 1990s.[3]

United States

The Zenith Phonevision system became the first home pay-per-view system to be tested in the United States. Developed in 1951, it used telephone lines to take and receive orders, as well as to descramble a television broadcast signal. The field tests conducted for Phonevision lasted for 90 days and were tested in Chicago, Illinois. The system used IBM punch cards to descramble a signal broadcast during the broadcast station's "off-time". Both systems showed promise, but the Federal Communications Commission denied them the permits to operate.[7]

One of the earliest pay-per-view systems on cable television, the Optical Systems-developed Channel 100, first began service in 1972 in San Diego, California through Mission Cable[8] (which was later acquired by Cox Communications) and TheaterVisioN, which operated out of Sarasota, Florida. These early systems quickly went out of business, as the cable industry adopted satellite technology and as flat-rate pay television services such as Home Box Office (HBO) became popular.

While most pay-per-view services were delivered via cable, there were a few over-the-air pay TV stations that offered pay-per-view broadcasts in addition to regularly scheduled broadcasts of movies and other entertainment. These stations, which operated for a few years in Chicago, Los Angeles and some other cities, broadcast "scrambled" signals that required descrambler devices to convert the signal into standard broadcast format. These services were marketed as ON-TV.

Professional boxing during 1960s–1970s

The first home pay-per-view cable television broadcast was the Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson rematch in 1960, when 25,000 TelePrompTer subscribers mailed $2 to watch Patterson regain the heavyweight title.[9] The third Patterson–Johansson match in 1961 was later viewed by 100,000 paid cable subscribers.[10] Muhammad Ali had several fights on early pay-per-view home television, including Cassius Clay vs. Doug Jones in 1963,[11] and Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston[12] which drew 250,000 buys on cable television in 1964.[13]

Professional boxing was largely introduced to pay-per-view cable television with the "Thrilla in Manila" fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in September 1975. The fight sold 500,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO.[14] There was also another major title fight aired on pay-per-view in 1980, when Roberto Durán defeated Sugar Ray Leonard. Cable companies offered the match for $10, and about 155,000 customers paid to watch the fight.[15][16]


A major pay-per-view event occurred on September 16, 1981, when Sugar Ray Leonard fought Thomas "Hitman" Hearns for the World Welterweight Championship. Viacom Cablevision in Nashville, Tennessee – the first system to offer the event – saw over 50 percent of its subscriber base purchase the fight. Leonard visited Nashville to promote the fight, and the event proved such a success that Viacom themed its annual report for that year around it. Viacom marketing director Pat Thompson put together the fight, and subsequently put together additional PPV fights, wrestling matches, and even a televised Broadway play.

After leaving Viacom, Thompson became head of Sports View and produced the first pay-per-view football game on October 16, 1983: a college football game between the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama from Birmingham, Alabama. Sports View played a role in building pay-per-view networks, and became the early pioneer in developing TigerVision for Louisiana State University, TideVision for Alabama and UT Vol Seat for Tennessee. Sports View also produced the Ohio State-Michigan football game for pay-per-view in November 1983.

In 1985, the first pay-per-view cable channels in the United States – Viewer's Choice (now In Demand), Cable Video Store, First Choice and Request TV – began operation within days of each other. Viewer's Choice serviced both home satellite dish and cable customers, while Request TV, though broadcasting to cable viewers, would not become available to satellite subscribers until the 1990s. First Choice PPV was available on Rogers Cablesystems in the United States and Canada. After Paragon Cable acquired the Rogers Cablesystems franchise in San Antonio, Texas, First Choice continued to be carried until Time Warner Cable bought Paragon in 1996. In the United States, pay-per-view broadcasters transmit without advertisements, similar to conventional flat-rate pay television services.

The term "pay-per-view" did not come into general use until the late 1980s when companies such as Viewer's Choice, HBO and Showtime started using the system to show movies and some of their productions. Viewer's Choice carried movies, concerts and other events, with live sporting events such as WrestleMania being the most predominant programming. Prices ranged from $3.99 to $49.99, while HBO and Showtime, with their event production legs TVKO and SET Pay Per View, would offer championship boxing matches ranging from $14.99 to $54.99.

ESPN later began to broadcast college football and basketball games on pay-per-view through its services ESPN GamePlan and ESPN Full Court, which were eventually sold as full-time out-of-market sports packages. The boxing undercard Latin Fury, shown on June 28, 2003, became ESPN's first boxing card on pay-per-view and also the first pay-per-view boxing card held in Puerto Rico. Pay-per-view has provided a revenue stream for professional wrestling circuits such as WWE, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), Ring of Honor (ROH) and Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA).

WWE chairman and chief executive officer Vince McMahon is considered by many as one of the icons of pay-per-view promotion. McMahon owns the domain name payperview.com, which redirects to the WWE Network website.[17]

HBO PPV (professional boxing)

In 2006, HBO generated 3.7 million pay-per-view buys with $177 million in gross sales. The only year with more buys previously, 1999, had a total of 4 million. The former record fell in 2007 when HBO sold 4.8 million PPV buys with $255 million in sales.[18] In 2014, HBO generated 59.3 million buys and $3.1 billion in revenue since its 1991 debut with Evander Holyfield-George Foreman.[19]

1999 differed radically from 2006: 1999 saw four major fight cards: De La Hoya-Trinidad (1.4 million buys), Holyfield-Lewis I (1.2 million), Holyfield-Lewis II (850,000) and De La Hoya-Quartey (570,000). By contrast, only one pay-per-view mega-fight took place in 2006: De La Hoya-Mayorga (925,000 buys). Rahman-Maskaev bombed with under 50,000. The other eight PPV cards that year all fell in the 325,000–450,000 range. Pay-per-view fights in that range almost always generate more money for the promoter and fighters than HBO wants to pay for an HBO World Championship Boxing license-fee.

In May 2007, the super-welterweight boxing match between Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. on HBO PPV became the biggest-selling non-heavyweight title fight, with a little more than 2.5 million buyers.[20] The fight itself generated roughly $139 million in domestic PPV revenue, making it the most lucrative prizefight of that era. The record stood until 2015 before it was broken by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao in a fight dubbed as the "Fight of the Century" on May 2, 2015 which generated 4.6 million ppv buys and a revenue of over $400 million.[21]

The leading PPV attraction, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has generated approximately 24 million buys and $1.6 billion in revenue. Manny Pacquiao, ranked second, has generated approximately 20.1 million buys and $1.2 billion in revenue.[22][23] Oscar De La Hoya, has "sold" approximately 14 million units in total, giving $700 million in domestic television receipts and stands third. In fourth place in buys, Evander Holyfield has achieved 12.6 million units ($550 million); and at fifth, Mike Tyson has reached 12.4 million units ($545 million).[24]

Ross Greenburg, then president of HBO Sports, called the expansion of pay-per-view "the biggest economic issue in boxing", stating "I can't tell you that pay-per-view helps the sport because it doesn't. It hurts the sport because it narrows our audience, but it's a fact of life. Every time we try to make an HBO World Championship Boxing fight, we're up against mythical pay-per-view numbers. HBO doesn't make a lot of money from pay-per-view. There's usually a cap on what we can make. But the promoters and fighters insist on pay-per-view because that's where their greatest profits lie."[25]

"It's a big problem," Greenburg continues. "It's getting harder and harder to put fighters like Manny Pacquiao on HBO World Championship Boxing. If Floyd Mayweather beats Oscar, he might never fight on HBO World Championship Boxing again. But if HBO stopped doing pay-per-view, the promoters would simply do it on their own [like Bob Arum did with Cotto-Malignaggi in June 2006] or find someone else who will do it for them."[25]

Former HBO Sports President Seth Abraham concurs, saying, "I think, if Lou (DiBella) and I were still at HBO, we'd be in the same pickle as far as the exodus of fights to pay-per-view is concerned."[26]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts promotion, was a relative newcomer to the PPV market. However, the promotion experienced a surge in popularity in the mid-2000's, credited initially to the popularity of an associated reality show on the cable channel Spike, The Ultimate Fighter. UFC 52—the first UFC event since its premiere, broke the promotion's record with almost 300,000 buys (in comparison to 250,000 for UFC 5).[27][28] PPV numbers escalated further in 2006, with its events taking in a gross revenue of $222 million.[29] In October 2016, it was reported that 42% of the UFC's "content revenue" in 2015 came from pay-per-view buys, followed by U.S. and international media rights.[30]

In 2018, UFC 229 would pull an all-time record for the promotion, with estimates indicating that the event attracted nearly 2.4 million buys, breaking the 1.65 million buy record set by UFC 202.[31]

In March 2019, as part of a larger contract with ESPN for media rights in the United States, it was announced that future UFC pay-per-views will only be sold to subscribers of the network's streaming service ESPN+.[32]

Professional wrestling

Professional wrestling has a long history of running pay-per-view events. WWE (then WWF) launched its first pay-per-view event in 1985 with The Wrestling Classic and has run numerous others throughout the years, including its annual flagship event WrestleMania. Other major organisations such as WCW, ECW, Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA), and Ring of Honor have also run pay-per-view events.

Although it still offers its events via traditional pay-per-view outlets, since 2014 WWE has offered all of its PPV events at no additional charge as part of a subscription-based streaming service known as WWE Network—which features on-demand access to content from the promotion's library (including archive programs), as well as other new and original programming (such as documentary programs and events). Following WrestleMania 34, the service had 2.12 million subscribers.[33][34]


In 2015, PPV broadcasts of the Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead tour set a record for buys for a music event, with over 400,000.[35]

United Kingdom and Ireland

Viewers in the United Kingdom and Ireland can access pay-per-view via satellite, cable and over-the-internet television services, mainly for films, boxing and American professional wrestling via services such as Sky Box Office and more recently ITV Box Office and BT Sport Box Office. The last couple of years has seen the number of pay-per-view boxing events significantly increase and currently all of the UK's top fights are only available via pay-per-view. Broadcasters (most notably PremPlus) have abandoned their aspirations to introduce PPV into other sports market due to poor interest from the public.


In Canada, most specialty television providers provide pay-per-view programming through one or more services. In all cases, prices typically range from around C$4.99 (for movies) up to $50 or more for special events.

Initially, there were three major PPV providers in Canada; Viewers Choice operated in Eastern Canada as a joint venture of Astral Media, Rogers Communications, and TSN. Western International Communications operated a separate service in the west initially known as Home Theatre; it was later rebranded as Viewers Choice under license.

Viewers Choice Canada was a partner in a French-language PPV service known as Canal Indigo, which is now entirely owned by Videotron. Bell Canada launched a PPV service for its ExpressVu television provider known as Vu! in 1999.

Home Theatre was later acquired by Shaw Communications; after gaining permission to operate nationally, it re-branded as a white-label PPV known internally as Shaw PPV in December 2007. In 2014, due to Bell Media's majority ownership of Viewers Choice because of its acquisition of Astral, and because both Bell and Rogers now ran their own in-house PPV operations (Vu! and Sportsnet PPV), Viewers Choice was shut down.[36]

Mainland Europe

In Romania, cable communications operator UPC Romania has notified the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) on the intention to introduce in January, February 2014 at the latest, an on-demand audiovisual media service called Agerpres. According to the manager of UPC Romania-owned Smaranda Radoi UPC, will allow customers to watch movies on demand or live events; as well as broadcasts of performances, concerts and sporting events.

In November 2008, pay-per-view made its debut in Albania through Digitalb on terrestrial and satellite television, with the channel DigiGold.[37]

In France, launched in the late 1990s, Canalsat (Ciné+) and TPS (Multivision) operate their own pay-per-view service. While CanalSat holds the rights to live soccer matches for France's Ligue 1, TPS had the rights for Boxe matches. In 2007, Multivision service ceased by the end of TPS service which merged with Canalsat. Nowadays, Ciné+ is the only existing pay-per-view service in France.

In Croatia, Fight Channel is broadcasting martial arts events organized by the world's most prominent fighting organizations, such as the UFC, K-1, HBO Boxing, Dream, Glory WS, World Series of Boxing etc. and its pay-per-view service covers the Balkans region.

South America

Per nations with Pay-Per-View or PPV system in South América:

In Argentina, Torneos y Competencias is a producer and sports events organization that broadcasts live main matches of Argentine Soccer in four categories on TyC Sports and TyC Max.

In Brazil, in the soccer main matches of Serie A (Six games per matchday) and Serie B (Four games per matchday) in two categories of Brazilian Soccer are broadcast live on Premiere FC and SporTV. The Serie C Championship are broadcast live on SporTV with two games per matchday in Pay TV. In other sports are broadcast live on NBB TV (Exclusive channel of Brazilian Basketball League in Premium system).

In Chile, the exclusive rights of Chilean Soccer are owned by TV Fútbol and broadcast live on a channel called Canal Del Fútbol (The Soccer Channel), also known CDF. Sports Field S.A. has exclusive rights to games on the Chilean professional basketball league, which are broadcast live vía CDO (Premium Signal).

In Paraguay, the Teledeportes business have exclusive rights to broadcast live main matches of Paraguayan Soccer in four categories vía Tigo Max and Tigo Sports. Teledeportes have live broadcast live of Paraguayan Basketball League is broadcast live Monday at 7:55 pm on Tigo Max (K.O 20:10) and Thursday at 8:00 pm on Tigo Sports (K.O 20:15).

In Uruguay, the Tenfield producer business and sports events organization have television exclusive rights for the main matches of Uruguayan soccer and basketball, which are broadcast on VTV Max and VTV Sports.

Australia and the Pacific Islands

Foxtel and Optus Vision introduced pay-per-view direct to home television in Australia in the mid-to-late 1990s. Foxtel had Event TV (until it transformed into its current form; Main Event) while, Optus Vision had Main Attraction Pay-Per-View as its provider. As of 2005, Main Event is the current pay-per-view provider through Foxtel and Optus cable/satellite subscription.

Sky Pacific started a service in Fiji in 2005 and then expanded into American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati (East), Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, with one, out of their 25 channels, being Pay-Per-View.[38]


In Malaysia, Astro's Astro Box Office service launched in 2000 in the form of the free-to-air "Astro Showcase".

In Japan, SkyPerfecTV subscribers can receive one-click pay-per-view access to hundreds of channels supplying domestic and international sporting events (including WWE events), movies, and specialty programming, either live or later on continuous repeat on its channel.

In India a pay-per-view service operates; however, pay-per-view sports broadcasts are available. Now also live events like WWE.

List of pay-per-view bouts



The following is a list of boxing fights that have generated over 1 million pay-per-view buys worldwide. These figures include closed-circuit theatre television (CCTV), pay-per-view home television (PPV), and pay-per-view online streaming (iPPV).

March 8, 1971Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
October 30, 1974Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
October 1, 1975Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
  • HBO
September 27, 1976Muhammad Ali vs. Ken Norton III
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
June 20, 1980Roberto Durán vs. Sugar Ray Leonard
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
  • HBO
June 11, 1982Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
April 6, 1987Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
  • HBO
June 27, 1988Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
  • HBO
April 19, 1991Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman
  • HBO
June 28, 1991Mike Tyson vs. Donovan Ruddock II
  • Showtime
August 19, 1995Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley
  • Showtime
March 16, 1996Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson II
  • Showtime
  • Sky Box Office
September 7, 1996Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon
  • Showtime
November 9, 1996Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield
  • Showtime
June 28, 1997Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield II
  • Showtime
  • Sky Box Office
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
September 18, 1999Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix Trinidad
  • HBO
June 8, 2002Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Sky Box Office
May 5, 2007Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
  • HBO
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
December 8, 2007Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton
  • HBO
  • Sky Box Office
December 6, 2008Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao
  • HBO
May 2, 2009Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton
  • HBO
  • Sky Box Office
September 19, 2009Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Márquez
  • HBO
November 14, 2009Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto
  • HBO
May 1, 2010Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley
  • HBO
November 13, 2010Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito
  • HBO
May 7, 2011Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley
  • Showtime
September 17, 2011Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Victor Ortiz
  • HBO
November 13, 2011Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez III
  • HBO
May 5, 2012Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto
  • HBO
December 8, 2012Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez IV
  • HBO
September 14, 2013Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Álvarez
  • Showtime
May 2, 2015Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Sky Box Office
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
April 29, 2017Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
  • Sky Box Office
August 26, 2017Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor
  • Showtime
  • Sky Box Office
September 16, 2017Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin
  • HBO
March 31, 2018Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker
  • Sky Box Office
August 25, 2018KSI vs. Logan Paul1,050,000[104][105]$14,000,000[106][107]$14,000,000
Sep 15, 2018Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II
  • HBO
Sep 22, 2018Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin
  • Sky Box Office

United States (closed-circuit theatre TV)

Select boxing buy rates at American closed-circuit theatre television venues between 1951 and 2015:

June 15, 1951Joe Louis vs. Lee Savold81,022[112]$100,000[113]$970,000
September 12, 1951Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Randolph Turpin II100,000[114]$200,000[114]$1,930,000
September 23, 1952Rocky Marciano vs. Joe Walcott40,000[115]$192,000[116]$1,810,000
September 21, 1955Rocky Marciano vs. Archie Moore300,000[117]$1,125,000[118]$10,520,000
September 23, 1957Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Carmen Basilio500,000[119]$1,750,000[120]$13,380,000
March 25, 1958Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Carmen Basilio II400,000[121]$2,000,000[122]$17,370,000
August 18, 1958Floyd Patterson vs. Roy Harris192,762[123]$763,437[123]$6,560,000
June 26, 1959Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson244,000[124]$1,032,000[124]$8,870,000
June 20, 1960Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson II500,000[125]$3,000,000[126]$25,410,000
March 13, 1961Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson III500,000[127]$2,500,000[127]$20,960,000
September 25, 1962Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny Liston600,000[128]$3,200,000[39]$26,500,000
March 13, 1963Cassius Clay vs. Doug Jones150,000[129]$500,000[11]$4,090,000
July 22, 1963Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny Liston II563,000[39]$4,747,690[130]$39,320,000
February 25, 1964Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston700,000[131]$5,000,000[131]$40,400,000
January 2, 1965Floyd Patterson vs. George Chuvalo300,000[132]$800,000[133]$6,360,000
May 25, 1965Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston II630,000[134]$4,300,000[2]$34,190,000
November 22, 1965Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson500,000[135]$4,000,000[2]$31,800,000
November 14, 1966Muhammad Ali vs. Cleveland Williams500,000[136]$3,750,000[136]$29,810,000
February 6, 1967Muhammad Ali vs. Ernie Terrell800,000[137]$4,000,000[137]$30,890,000
October 26, 1970Muhammad Ali vs. Jerry Quarry630,000[138][139]$3,500,000[140]$22,580,000
March 8, 1971Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier2,500,000[39]$45,000,000[41]$278,000,000
October 30, 1974Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman3,000,000[3]$60,000,000[3]$300,000,000
October 1, 1975Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III3,000,000[3]$60,000,000[3]$300,000,000
September 27, 1976Muhammad Ali vs. Ken Norton III1,500,000[46]$30,000,000[47]$130,000,000
Jun 20, 1980Roberto Durán vs. Sugar Ray Leonard1,500,000[49]$22,000,000[141]$66,900,000
June 11, 1982Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney2,000,000[51]$20,000,000[3]$51,920,000
April 15, 1985Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns700,000[142]$10,500,000[143]$24,460,000
April 6, 1987Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler3,000,000[3]$40,000,000[144]$88,210,000
June 27, 1988Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks800,000[53]$32,000,000[53]$67,790,000
June 28, 1997Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II120,000[66]$9,000,000[3]$14,050,000
May 5, 2007Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.50,000[71]$2,750,000[145]$3,320,000
May 2, 2015Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao173,000[95]$25,900,000[95]$27,380,000

United States (PPV home television)

Select PPV boxing buy-rates (mainly from HBO, Showtime and Top Rank) between 1960 and 2019:

DateFightResultCarrierBuy rate
June 20, 1960Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson IIPatterson wins by KO in round 5TelePrompTer25,000[9]
March 13, 1961Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson IIIPatterson wins by KO in round 6TelePrompTer100,000[10]
September 25, 1962Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny ListonListon wins by KO in round 1TelePrompTer100,000[146]
February 25, 1964Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny ListonAli wins by RTD in round 6WHCT[12]250,000[13]
Oct 1, 1975Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier IIIAli wins by TKO in round 14HBO500,000[14]
Jun 20, 1980Roberto Durán vs. Sugar Ray LeonardDurán wins by UD (145-144, 148-147, 146-144)HBO155,000[15]
Sep 16, 1981Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas HearnsLeonard wins by TKO in round 14HBO583,200[147]
Apr 15, 1985Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas HearnsHagler wins by TKO in round 3HBO100,000[142]
Apr 6, 1987Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin HaglerLeonard wins by SD (118-110, 113-115, 115-113)HBO150,000[3]
Jun 27, 1988Mike Tyson vs. Michael SpinksTyson wins by KO in round 1HBO700,000[54]
Oct 25, 1990Buster Douglas vs. Evander HolyfieldHolyfield wins by KO in round 3Showtime1,000,000[54]
March 18, 1991Mike Tyson vs. Donovan RuddockTyson wins by TKO in round 7Showtime960,000[148]
Apr 19, 1991Evander Holyfield vs. George ForemanHolyfield wins by UD (116–111, 117–110, 115–112)HBO1,400,000[55]
Jun 28, 1991Mike Tyson vs. Donovan Ruddock IITyson wins by UD (113–109, 114–108, 114–108)Showtime1,250,000[57]
Oct 18, 1991Ray Mercer vs. Tommy MorrisonMercer wins by KO in round 5HBO200,000[149]
Jun 19, 1992Evander Holyfield vs. Larry HolmesHolyfield wins by UD (117–111, 116–112, 116–112)HBO730,000[150]
Nov 13, 1992Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick BoweBowe wins by UD (117–110, 117–110, 115–112)HBO900,000[151]
Jun 7, 1993George Foreman vs. Tommy MorrisonMorrison wins by UD (117–110, 117–110, 118–108)HBO600,000[152]
Nov 6, 1993Riddick Bowe vs. Evander Holyfield IIHolyfield wins by MD (115–113, 115–114, 114–114)HBO950,000[153]
Nov 18, 1994James Toney vs. Roy Jones Jr.Jones Jr. wins by UD (119–108, 118–109, 117–110)HBO300,000[154]
May 6, 1995Oscar De La Hoya vs. Rafael RuelasDe La Hoya wins by TKO in round 2HBO330,000[155]
Aug 19, 1995Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeleyTyson wins by DQ in round 1Showtime1,600,000[60]
Nov 4, 1995Riddick Bowe vs. Evander Holyfield IIIBowe wins by TKO in round 8HBO650,000[156]
Mar 16, 1996Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson IITyson wins by TKO in round 3Showtime1,400,000[60]
Sep 7, 1996Mike Tyson vs. Bruce SeldonTyson wins by TKO in round 1Showtime1,150,000[55]
Nov 9, 1996Mike Tyson vs. Evander HolyfieldHolyfield wins by TKO in round 11Showtime1,600,000[60]
Apr 12, 1997Pernell Whitaker vs. Oscar De La HoyaDe La Hoya wins by UD (115–111, 116–110, 116–110)HBO720,000[157]
Jun 28, 1997Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield IIHolyfield wins by DQ in round 3Showtime1,990,000[55]
Sep 13, 1997Oscar De La Hoya vs. Héctor CamachoDe La Hoya wins by UD (120–106, 120–105, 118–108)HBO560,000[157]
Oct 4, 1997Lennox Lewis vs. Andrew GolotaLewis wins by KO in round 1HBO300,000[158]
Nov 8, 1997Evander Holyfield vs. Michael Moorer IIHolyfield wins by RTD in round 8Showtime550,000[159]
Jan 16, 1999Mike Tyson vs. Francois BothaTyson wins by KO in round 5Showtime750,000[160]
Mar 13, 1999Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox LewisSplit draw (116–113, 113–115, 115–115)HBO1,200,000[161]
Sep 18, 1999Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix TrinidadTrinidad wins by MD (115–113, 115–114, 114–114)HBO1,400,000[55]
Nov 13, 1999Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis IILewis wins by UD (116–112, 117–111, 115–113)HBO850,000[161]
Apr 29, 2000Lennox Lewis vs. Michael GrantLewis wins by KO in round 2HBO340,000[161]
Jun 17, 2000Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane MosleyMosley wins by SD (116–112, 115–113, 113–115)HBO590,000[157]
Sep 9, 2000Roy Jones Jr. vs. Eric HardingJones Jr. wins by RTD in round 10HBO125,000[162]
Oct 20, 2000Mike Tyson vs. Andrew GolotaTyson wins by TKO in round 3 (later changed to an NC)Showtime450,000[163]
Nov 11, 2000Lennox Lewis vs. David TuaLewis wins by UD (119–109, 118–110, 117–111)HBO420,000[161]
Mar 3, 2001Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz IIRuiz wins by UD (116–110, 115–111, 114–111)Showtime185,000[164]
Apr 7, 2001Naseem Hamed vs. Marco Antonio BarreraBarrera wins by UD (116–111, 115–112, 115–112)HBO310,000[165]
Nov 17, 2001Hasim Rahman vs. Lennox Lewis IILewis wins by KO in round 4HBO460,000[166]
Jun 8, 2002Lennox Lewis vs. Mike TysonLewis wins by KO in round 8HBO/Showtime1,970,000[55]
Sep 14, 2002Oscar De La Hoya vs. Fernando VargasDe La Hoya wins by TKO in round 11HBO935,000[157]
Feb 22, 2003Mike Tyson vs. Clifford EtienneTyson wins by KO in round 1Showtime100,000[164]
Mar 1, 2003John Ruiz vs. Roy Jones Jr.Jones Jr. wins by UD (118–110, 117–111, 116–112)HBO525,000[164]
Sep 13, 2003Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley IIMosley wins by UD (113–115, 113–115, 113–115)HBO950,000[157]
Oct 4, 2003James Toney vs. Evander HolyfieldToney wins by TKO in round 9Showtime150,000[167]
Nov 8, 2003Antonio Tarver vs. Roy Jones Jr.Jones Jr. wins by MD (117–111, 116–112, 114–114)HBO302,000[168]
May 15, 2004Roy Jones Jr. vs. Antonio Tarver IITarver wins by KO in round 2HBO360,000[169]
Sep 18, 2004Bernard Hopkins vs. Oscar De La HoyaHopkins wins by KO in round 9HBO1,000,000[157]
Dec 11, 2004Vitali Klitschko vs. Danny WilliamsKlitschko wins by TKO in round 8HBO120,000[170]
Mar 19, 2005Érik Morales vs. Manny PacquiaoMorales wins by UD (115–113, 115–113, 115–113)HBO345,000[171]
Jun 11, 2005Mike Tyson vs. Kevin McBrideMcBride wins by TKO in round 7Showtime250,000[172]
Jun 25, 2005Arturo Gatti vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.Mayweather Jr. wins by RTD in round 6HBO340,000[171]
Oct 1, 2005Antonio Tarver vs. Roy Jones Jr. IIITarver wins by UD (117–111, 116–112, 116–112)HBO405,000[173]
Jan 21, 2006Manny Pacquiao vs Érik Morales IIPacquiao wins by TKO in round 10HBO360,000[174]
Apr 8, 2006Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Zab JudahMayweather Jr. wins by UD (116–112, 117–111, 119–109)HBO375,000[174]
May 6, 2006Ricardo Mayorga vs. Oscar De La HoyaDe La Hoya wins by TKO in round 6HBO925,000[175]
May 6, 2006Manny Pacquiao vs. Óscar LariosPacquiao wins by UD (117–110, 118–108, 120–106)Top Rank120,000[176]
Aug 12, 2006Hasim Rahman vs. Oleg Maskaev IIMaskaev wins by TKO in round 12HBO60,000[177]
Nov 4, 2006Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Carlos BaldomirMayweather Jr. wins by UD (120–108, 120–108, 118–110)HBO325,000[174]
Nov 18, 2006Manny Pacquiao vs Érik Morales IIIPacquiao wins by KO in round 3HBO350,000[174]
Apr 14, 2007Manny Pacquiao vs Jorge SolísPacquiao wins by KO in round 8Top Rank150,000[178]
May 5, 2007Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.Mayweather Jr. wins by SD (116–112, 115–113, 113–115)HBO2,400,000[55]
Oct 10, 2007Manny Pacquiao vs. Marco Antonio Barrera IIPacquiao wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 115–112)HBO350,000[179]
Dec 8, 2007Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky HattonMayweather Jr. wins by TKO in round 10HBO920,000[76]
Mar 15, 2008Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez IIPacquiao wins by SD (115–112, 114–113, 112–115)HBO400,000[180]
Jun 28, 2008David Díaz vs. Manny PacquiaoPacquiao wins by TKO in round 9HBO206,000[181]
Nov 8, 2008Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr.Calzaghe wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 118–109)HBO225,000[182]
Dec 6, 2008Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny PacquiaoPacquiao wins by RTD in round 8HBO1,250,000[55]
May 2, 2009Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky HattonPacquiao wins by KO in round 2HBO850,000[74]
Sep 19, 2009Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel MárquezMayweather Jr. wins by UD (120–107, 119–108, 118–109)HBO1,060,000[76]
Nov 14, 2009Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel CottoPacquiao wins by TKO in round 12HBO1,250,000[78]
Mar 13, 2010Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua ClotteyPacquiao wins by UD (119–109, 119–109, 120–108)HBO700,000[183]
Apr 3, 2010Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr. IIHopkins win by UD (118–109, 117–110, 117–110)HBO150,000[184]
May 1, 2010Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane MosleyMayweather Jr. wins by UD (119–109, 118–110, 119–109)HBO1,400,000[55]
Nov 13, 2010Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio MargaritoPacquiao wins by UD (120–108, 118–110, 119–109)HBO1,150,000[81]
May 7, 2011Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane MosleyPacquiao wins by UD (119–108, 120–108, 120–107)Showtime1,340,000[83]
Sep 17, 2011Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Victor OrtizMayweather Jr. wins by KO in round 4HBO1,250,000[85]
Nov 13, 2011Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez IIIPacquiao wins by MD (115–113, 114–114, 116–112)HBO1,400,000[87]
Dec 3, 2011Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito IICotto wins by RTD in round 9HBO600,000[185]
May 5, 2012Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel CottoMayweather Jr. wins by UD (117–111, 117–111, 118–110)HBO1,500,000[89]
Jun 9, 2012Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy BradleyBradley wins by SD (115–113, 115–113, 115–113)HBO890,000[186]
Sep 15, 2012Sergio Martínez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr.Martínez wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 117–110)HBO475,000[187]
Dec 8, 2012Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez IVMárquez wins by KO in round 6HBO1,150,000[90]
May 4, 2013Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Robert GuerreroMayweather Jr. wins by UD (117–111, 117–111, 117–111)Showtime1,000,000[188]
Sep 14, 2013Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo ÁlvarezMayweather Jr. wins by MD (117–111, 116–112, 114–114)Showtime2,200,000[92]
Oct 12, 2013Timothy Bradley vs. Juan Manuel MárquezBradley wins by SD (115–113, 116–112, 113–115)HBO375,000[189]
Nov 24, 2013Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon RíosPacquiao wins by UD (119–109, 120–108, 118–110)HBO475,000[190]
Mar 8, 2014Canelo Álvarez vs. Alfredo AnguloÁlvarez wins by TKO in Round 10Showtime350,000[191]
Apr 12, 2014Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley IIPacquiao wins by UD (116–112, 116–112, 118–110)HBO800,000[192]
May 3, 2014Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos MaidanaMayweather Jr. wins by MD (114–114, 117–111, 116–112)Showtime900,000[193]
Jun 7, 2014Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio MartínezCotto wins by RTD in round 10HBO315,000[194]
Jul 12, 2014Canelo Álvarez vs. Erislandy LaraÁlvarez wins by SD (115–113, 117–111, 113–115)Showtime300,000[195]
Sep 13, 2014Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana IIMayweather Jr. wins by UD (116–111, 116–111, 115–112)Showtime925,000[193]
Nov 23, 2014Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris AlgieriPacquiao wins by UD (119–103, 119–103, 120–102)HBO400,000[196]
May 2, 2015Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny PacquiaoMayweather Jr. wins by UD (116–112, 116–112, 118–110)HBO/Showtime4,600,000[93]
Sep 12, 2015Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Andre BertoMayweather Jr. wins by UD (120–108, 118–110, 117–111)Showtime400,000[197]
Oct 17, 2015Gennady Golovkin vs. David LemieuxGolovkin wins by TKO in round 8HBO150,000[198]
Nov 21, 2015Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo ÁlvarezÁlvarez wins by UD (117–111, 119–109, 118–110)HBO900,000[199]
Apr 9, 2016Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley IIIPacquiao wins by UD (116–110, 116–110, 116–110)HBO400,000[200]
May 7, 2016Canelo Álvarez vs. Amir KhanÁlvarez wins by KO in round 6HBO600,000[201]
July 23, 2016Terence Crawford vs. Viktor PostolCrawford wins by UD (118–107, 118–107, 117–108)HBO55,000[202]
Sep 17, 2016Canelo Álvarez vs. Liam SmithÁlvarez wins by TKO in round 9HBO300,000[203]
Nov 5, 2016Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie VargasPacquiao wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 114–113)Top Rank300,000[204]
Nov 19, 2016Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre WardWard wins by UD (114–113, 114–113, 114–113)HBO165,000[205]
Mar 18, 2017Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel JacobsGolovkin wins by UD (115–112, 115–112, 114–113)HBO170,000[206]
May 6, 2017Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr.Álvarez wins by UD (120–108, 120–108, 120–108)HBO1,000,000[207]
Jun 17, 2017Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev IIWard wins by TKO in round 8HBO130,000[208]
Aug 26, 2017Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregorMayweather Jr. wins by TKO in round 10Showtime4,300,000[209]
Sep 16, 2017Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady GolovkinSplit draw (118–110, 115–113, 114–114)HBO1,300,000[100]
Sep 15, 2018Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin IIÁlvarez wins by MD (115–113, 114–114, 115–113)HBO1,100,000[108]
Dec 1, 2018Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson FurySplit draw (115–111, 113–113, 114–112)Showtime325,000[210]
Jan 19, 2019Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien BronerPacquiao wins by UD (117–111, 116–112, 116–112)Showtime400,000[211]
Mar 16, 2019Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey GarciaSpence Jr. wins by UD (120–107, 120–108, 120–108)Fox360,000[212]
Apr 20, 2019Terence Crawford vs. Amir KhanCrawford wins by TKO in round 6ESPN150,000[213]
Jul 20, 2019Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith ThurmanPacquiao wins by SD (115–112, 115–112, 113–114)Fox500,000[214]

United Kingdom

Select boxing pay-per-view figures (mainly from Sky Box Office) between 1966 and 2018. Many of these figures are based on BARB weekly viewing data figures.[215]

21 May 1966Muhammad Ali vs. Henry Cooper IIPay TV40,000[216]
16 March 1996Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson IISky Box Office660,000[63]
9 November 1996Naseem Hamed vs. Remigio MolinaSky Box Office420,000[63][217]
8 February 1997Naseem Hamed vs. Tom JohnsonSky Box Office720,000[63][218]
3 May 1997Naseem Hamed vs. Billy HardySky Box Office348,000[63][219]
28 June 1997Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson IISky Box Office550,000[65]
13 March 1999Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox LewisSky Box Office400,000[220]
29 January 2000Mike Tyson vs. Julius FrancisSky Box Office500,000[65]
19 August 2000Naseem Hamed vs. Augie SanchezSky Box Office300,000[221]
8 June 2002Lennox Lewis vs. Mike TysonSky Box Office750,000[69]
8 December 2007Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky HattonSky Box Office1,150,000[222]
2 May 2009Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky HattonSky Box Office900,000[75]
18 July 2009Amir Khan vs. Andreas KotelnikSky Box Office100,000[223]
7 November 2009Nikolai Valuev vs. David HayeSky Box Office469,000[224]
3 April 2010David Haye vs. John RuizSky Box Office177,000[225]
24 April 2010Carl Froch vs. Mikkel KesslerPrimetime50,000[226]
18 September 2010Kell Brook vs. Michael JenningsSky Box Office15,000[227]
13 November 2010David Haye vs. Audley HarrisonSky Box Office223,000[224]
11 December 2010Amir Khan vs. Marcos MaidanaSky Box Office164,000[228]
16 April 2011Amir Khan vs. Paul McCloskeyPrimetime200,000[229][226]
21 May 2011George Groves vs. James DeGaleSky Box Office43,000[230]
2 July 2011Wladimir Klitschko vs. David HayeSky Box Office1,170,000[231] [232]
25 May 2013Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler IISky Box Office32,000[233]
23 November 2013Carl Froch vs. George GrovesSky Box Office47,000[234]
31 May 2014Carl Froch vs. George Groves IISky Box Office355,000[235]
30 May 2015Kell Brook vs. Frankie GavinSky Box Office139,000[236]
2 May 2015Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny PacquiaoSky Box Office1,000,000[94]
28 November 2015Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson FurySky Box Office545,000[237]
12 December 2015Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian WhyteSky Box Office420,000[238]
27 February 2016Carl Frampton vs. Scott QuiggSky Box Office220,000[239][240]
9 April 2016Anthony Joshua vs. Charles MartinSky Box Office500,000[238]
25 June 2016Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic BreazealeSky Box Office512,000[241]
10 September 2016Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell BrookSky Box Office500,000[242]
10 December 2016Anthony Joshua vs. Éric MolinaSky Box Office450,000[238]
4 February 2017Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Renold QuinlanITV Box Office86,000[243]
4 March 2017David Haye vs. Tony BellewSky Box Office890,000[244]
29 April 2017Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir KlitschkoSky Box Office1,532,000[97]
27 May 2017Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr.Sky Box Office275,000[245]
26 August 2017Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregorSky Box Office1,007,000[246][247]
28 October 2017Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos TakamSky Box Office887,000[248]
31 March 2018Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph ParkerSky Box Office1,457,000[101]
5 May 2018David Haye vs. Tony Bellew IISky Box Office775,000[249]
28 July 2018Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph ParkerSky Box Office474,000[250][251]
22 September 2018Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander PovetkinSky Box Office1,113,000[109]
10 November 2018Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tony BellewSky Box Office603,000[252]
1 December 2018Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson FuryBT Sport Box Office420,000[253]
22 December 2018Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora IISky Box Office438,000[254]
1 June 2019Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.Sky Box Office562,000[255]
20 July 2019Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar RivasSky Box Office289,000[256]
31 August 2019Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Luke CampbellSky Box Office205,000[257]

Mixed martial arts (United States)

The first pay-per-view mixed martial arts bout was Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki, which took place in Japan on June 26, 1976. It sold at least 2 million or more buys on closed-circuit theatre TV in the United States.[258] At a ticket price of $10,[259] the fight grossed at least $20 million (inflation-adjusted $90 million) or more from closed-circuit theatre TV revenue in the United States.

UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship)

The highest buy rates for the UFC as of October 2018 are as follows:[260]

Note: The UFC does not release official PPV statistics, and the following PPV numbers are as reported by industry insiders. As of April 2019, all PPV's are iPPV's, with distribution on the internet exclusively via Disney and BAMTech's streaming service.

No.DateEventBuy rateRevenue
1Oct 6, 2018UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor2,400,000[261]$180 million[262][263]
2Aug 20, 2016UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 21,650,000[264]$90 million[265][266]
3Jul 11, 2009UFC 100: Lesnar vs. Mir1,600,000[267]$82 million
4Mar 5, 2016UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz1,500,000[267]$80 million[268][266]
5Dec 12, 2015UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor1,400,000[267]$80 million[269][266]
6Nov 12, 2016UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor1,300,000[270]$83 million[271][263]
7Jul 9, 2016UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes1,200,000[272]$71 million[273][274]
8Jul 3, 2010UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin1,160,000$55 million
9Nov 15, 2015UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm1,100,000$60 million
10Dec 30, 2016UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey1,100,000[275]$60 million[276][277]
11Dec 30, 2006UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz 21,050,000$53 million
12May 29, 2010UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans1,050,000$51 million[278][279]
13Oct 23, 2010UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez1,050,000$45 million
14Dec 28, 2013UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva II1,025,000[280]$57 million[281][282]
15Nov 15, 2008UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar1,010,000$47 million
16Dec 27, 2008UFC 92: Evans vs. Griffin1,000,000$48 million[283][266]
17Mar 16, 2013UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz950,000
18Jul 7, 2012UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II925,000
19Jan 31, 2009UFC 94: St-Pierre vs. Penn 2920,000
20Aug 1, 2015UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia900,000
21Nov 4, 2017UFC 217: Bisping vs. St-Pierre875,000
22Jul 29, 2017UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2860,000
23Aug 8, 2009UFC 101: Declaration850,000
24Jul 11, 2015UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor825,000
25Apr 30, 2011UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields800,000
26Jan 3, 2015UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier800,000
27Dec 11, 2010UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2785,000
28Dec 30, 2011UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem780,000
29Mar 27, 2010UFC 111: St-Pierre vs. Hardy770,000

Professional wrestling (United States)

WrestleMania I in March 1985 sold over 1 million buys on closed-circuit theatre TV in the United States, making it the largest pay-per-view showing of a wrestling event in the US at the time.[284]

PPV home television

The highest buy rates for professional wrestling events on pay-per-view home television as of June 2015 are as follows:[285][286]

No.DateEventBuy rate
1Apr 1, 2012WrestleMania XXVIII1,300,000[287]
2Apr 1, 2007WrestleMania 231,200,000
3Apr 3, 2005WrestleMania 211,085,000
4Apr 3, 2011WrestleMania XXVII1,059,000
5Mar 30, 2008WrestleMania XXIV1,058,000
6Apr 7, 2013WrestleMania 291,048,000
7Apr 1, 2001WrestleMania X-Seven1,040,000
8Mar 14, 2004WrestleMania XX1,007,000
9Apr 2, 2006WrestleMania 22975,000
10Apr 5, 2009WrestleMania XXV960,000
11Mar 28, 2010WrestleMania XXVI885,000
12Mar 17, 2002WrestleMania X8880,000
13Apr 2, 2000WrestleMania 2000824,000
14Mar 28, 1999WrestleMania XV800,000
15Jul 22, 2001WWF Invasion770,000
16Apr 2, 1989WrestleMania V767,000[286]
17Mar 24, 1991WrestleMania VII764,000[288][289]

List of sportsmen with highest pay-per-view sales

This tables lists the sportsmen who have had the highest pay-per-view sales. It includes sportsmen who have participated in combat sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts as well as sports entertainment such as professional wrestling.

SportsmanTotal salesClosed-circuit theatre TVPPV home televisionYearsSport(s)
United StatesMuhammad Ali162,944,000162,154,000[b]790,000[b]1963–1985Professional boxing
Mixed martial arts
Professional wrestling
United StatesJoe Frazier100,500,000100,000,000[45]500,000[14]1965–1981Professional boxing
United StatesGeorge Foreman52,000,00050,000,000[5]2,000,000[55][152]1974–1993
United StatesFloyd Mayweather Jr.29,090,000223,000[71][95]28,867,000[290][c]2005–2017Professional boxing
Professional wrestling
PhilippinesManny Pacquiao22,214,000173,000[95]22,041,000[d]2005–2019Professional boxing
United StatesTriple H20,329,000N/A20,329,000[e]1995–2018Professional wrestling
United StatesMike Tyson18,370,000920,000[f]17,450,000[f]1988–2005Professional boxing
Professional wrestling
United StatesJohn Cena15,389,000N/A15,389,000[e]2002–2018Professional wrestling
United StatesThe Rock14,859,000N/A14,859,000[g]1998–2013Professional wrestling
United StatesThe Undertaker14,451,000N/A14,451,000[e]1990–2018
United StatesOscar De La Hoya14,140,00050,000[71]14,090,000[h]1995–2008Professional boxing
Republic of IrelandConor McGregor13,675,000N/A13,675,000[i][290]2008–2018Mixed martial arts
Professional boxing
United StatesEvander Holyfield12,720,000120,000[66]12,600,000[291]1984–2003Professional boxing
United StatesShawn Michaels10,160,000N/A10,160,000[e]1988–2010Professional wrestling

See also

  • Bel Air Circuit

  • Conditional access

  • DAZN

  • List of Bellator events

  • List of DREAM events

  • List of ECW pay-per-view events

  • List of K-1 events

  • List of ROH pay-per-view events

  • List of Strikeforce events

  • List of TNA pay-per-view events

  • List of UFC events

  • List of WCW pay-per-view events

  • List of WWE pay-per-view events


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